Pattern Reviews

2 adorable knit dresses. Asymmetric pleated skirt & bodice. Oasis (Sinclair patterns)

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There’s a new pattern from Sinclair patterns and its super cute! It’s called Oasis top & dress, it’s for knits and this is my first pattern test with this brand. I couldn’t resist applying for the test after seeing the line art. When I sew knit styles, I am always looking for special unique details and the Oasis certainly has it with the asymmetric pleated skirt & bodice.

The Oasis top & dress is 20% off through the 10th of June. Get yours HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you and helps you with your own sewing. Thank you so much!

Features of the Oasis top & dress

Designed for knit fabrics, the Oasis can be a simple fitted top or a dress. The bodice is asymmetrical and slanted and the skirt with 14 pleats is also slanted to match the bodice. It’s pull on without closures.

The fit on the shoulders is dropped and covers the upper arm while being closed on the underarm. There are two neckline options: regular round and lower scoop. I love the lower scoop neckline. Bands finish the neckline and armholes neatly.

The skirt piece provided in the PDF pattern is short. This is to save on paper printing costs. You then add different amounts of length to the pattern piece to have a: peplum, above knee, below knee and maxi length.

There are inseam pockets available as an option. I always bypass side seam pockets consistently, so my versions don’t have them.

Best fabrics for the Oasis top & dress

Lots to say here! Designed for knit fabric with 50% horizontal and 30% vertical stretch. This style suits mixing types of knits and color-blocking.

  • We can make the top with any knit that fits the stretch requirement. Even lightweight knits like rayon spandex and ITY.
  • The bodice needs stronger fabric to hold the weight of the pleated skirt. Cotton Lycra, interlock, athletic knits works well.
  • We can make the pleated skirt with any lightweight fabric and it does not need to stretch as much. 20% stretch is ok.

My choices:

  • Color-blocked: Cotton Lycra denim look jersey for the bodice (medium weight) and rayon spandex skirt.
  • All print: Even though ITY is not recommended for the bodice because it’s too lightweight, I solved the problem by cutting two ITY bodices. Two layers = a medium weight bodice.

Sizing discussion

The Oasis top & dress includes 0 to 30 US with upper measurements of 60” for the bust circumference and 63” for the hips. I chose a size 16 based on my current measurements and based on my full bust.

Before you choose your size based on your body measurements, you need to choose the file drafted for your height.  This will give you a better fit because it will be drafted for your length and proportions. No need to do length adjustments. I use the tall file with great results. 

  • Petite: drafted for 5ft 1”- 5ft 3”
  • Regular: drafted for 5ft 4”- 5ft 6”
  • Tall: drafted for 5 ft 7”- 5ft 9”

You will see that the Oasis top & dress is drafted with a B/C sewing cup size at size 0 and as the sizes increase, so does the cup size. For size 16, the bodice has a C/D cup size and, and that is exactly what I need. Size 30 has an E cup size drafted for a 5” difference between the high and full bust.

Fit of the top

The Oasis top is fitted at the waist and hips and reaches the mid to full hip. The neckline and armhole have the same fit as the dress.

  • Bust: negative ease -1 5/8″
  • Waist: positive ease +4″
  • Hips: Zero ease

Fit of the dress

The bodice pattern of the Oasis dress is overlaid on the top pattern pieces, front and back (different cut line). There is less ease at the waist. One side will finish under the bust and the other side finishes below the natural waist: slanted.

  • Bust: negative ease -1 5/8″
  • Waist: positive ease +2″
  • Hips: about +10″ with all the pleats on the skirt

Blending sizes

You can select several sizes when you use the layers function. You will need to start with the bust size to choose the base size. The style is fitted at the bust and it needs to fit well there and you need to draw smooth curved from the bust to a larger or smaller size at waist and/or hip for the top version. There are diagrams in the pattern instructions to help you do this, if this is what you need.

The hip fit of the dress has about 10″ of positive ease, so if your hip measurement falls 1 size larger than the waist, you might not need to blend to another size at the hips.

If your hips are 2 or more sizes larger than the waist, I would suggest blending to a larger hip size so that the pleats hang as intended and not “open up” and stretch.

Personal Fitting adjustments

None. Literally. For most other pattern brands, I need length adjustments. Not in this case. The tall file is perfect for my 5ft 8” height.

I made a top as a muslin. I drew the outline of the bodice on the fabric before sewing the top so that I could see exactly where the bodice seam would be on my body. The top fits perfectly as intended but I prefer more ease at the hips. I am mainly interested in the dress option for this pattern.

Some sewing considerations

  • The seam allowance is 1/4″. Easy to sew with a serger or with a regular sewing machine.
  • The bodice needs to be cut mirrored to look like this, or inverse to this.
  • The fold of the pleats are directed towards the longer side seam of the skirt piece.
  • The bodice is sewn to the skirt piece, front and back, separately. Then the shoulder and side seams are sewn.
  • The neckline and armholes have notches that match the bands. Super easy to put together.
  • The hem allowance is 1″. A twin needle can work great if you don’t have a coverstitch.

The video on YouTube

In my video, you’ll see:

  • A full detailed pattern review including the features, fabric choices, sizing discussion
  • Unconventional fitting using the top version as a muslin
  • A step-by-step segment on how to sew and put together the pleats of the skirt
  • Sewing the skirt pieces to the bodice

Come and watch this video: )

Let’s see my 2 Oasis dresses

Colour blocked dress

This version does not have the pockets. The bodice is a denim look, cotton spandex with great recovery. Perfect to hold up the pleated skirt. I love the solid bodice because it highlights the asymmetry of the bodice.

Print dress in ITY knit

I made second dress, and it’s ITY entirely. I cut two bodices from ITY to have it doubled up so that it can hold up the weight of the pleated skirt. This means that the inside is super clean, and the seams enclosed. To see how to do this, you can see it in detail in the video I filmed about the FREE Knit Valley skater dress, also from Sinclair patterns. See the video HERE. I love the print and how flowy the skirt is.

Final Thoughts

Would I make the Oasis dress again? Yes!

Oh my, yes, and a thousand times yes. This pattern is so fun and easy to sew . A confident beginner could easily make this style with great results. I hope the resources in this post and my videos also help you start this project with confidence. 

The Oasis top & dress is 20% off through the 10th of June. Get yours HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you and helps you with your own sewing. Thank you so much!

Disclaimer: I purchased all my fabric. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.

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